Home Health Care

Home Care Developments – NYS Governor’s Budget

Yesterday’s publication of the Governor’s Budget kicks off what promises to be an exciting Budget season for anyone in healthcare. In no particular order, below are the Proposals contained in the Governor’s Memorandum in Support of the Health and Mental Hygiene sections of the Budget:

  • The Home Care and Personal Care Workforce Recruitment and Retention programs would be renewed and extended through March 31, 2026.
  • MLTC moratorium would be extended until March 31, 2027. 
  • During the moratorium on MLTCs, all MLTC plans would be required to meet certain stated performance standards on or before October 1, 2024. The performance standards would include a plan’s commitment to contract “with the minimum number of [LHCSAs] needed to provide the necessary [PCA] services to the greatest practicable number of enrollees and the minimum number of [FIs] needed to provide necessary [CDPAS].” 
  • The proposed bill from the Governor states that “as of January 1, 2024, no entity would be permitted to provide, directly or through contract, [FI] services without an authorization as a [FI] issued by the Commissioner. ” The bill then contains a directive to the DOH Commissioner to “issue regulations, including emergency regulations, clarifying the authorization process, standards, and time frames.” It is not clear if this directive means that a whole new authorization process will be issued by the Department, or some modification of the prior authorization process will be conducted.
  • The wage parity law for CDPAP would be eliminated and replaced with reforms that would “better target the intent of wage parity.” The Governor proposes to establish a CDPAP “supplemental premium assistance funds” to ensure that healthcare workers in CDPAP maintain access to essential health care benefits. We are reviewing the proposed bill now, but it seems that this essential health care benefit would be Statewide, for all PAs, who do not otherwise have health coverage.
  • The Public Health Law would be amended to clarify that certain types of transfers of ownership interests for home care agencies do not require prior approval of the Public Health and Health Planning Council and could simply be done upon notice to the DOH.
  • In addition, the Governor proposes to amend the Public Health Law to reduce processing times for Certificate of Need applications that are submitted for new LHCSAs.
  • To increase the number of health care workers in New York State, New York would enter into Interstate Licensure Compacts and nurse licensure compacts that would make it easier for health care professionals that are licensed in other states to practice in New York, either physically or virtually.
  • The authorization for advanced home health aides would be extended for another six years.
  • Nurse staffing agencies would be required to register and report key data about their operations, with the goal of increasing transparency into the utilization and costs of contract labor.
  • The responsibilities for oversight of certain healthcare professionals would be transferred from the Department of Education to the Department of Health.
  • New York Would automatically increase the minimum wage, consistent with the year-over-year Consumer Price Index-W for the Northeast Region. Annual increases would be capped, and increases could be paused in the event of certain economic conditions.

If you’d like to read up on any of these proposals, please review the Health Care Briefing Book and the full Budget Briefing Book. These will contain summaries of the Governor’s proposals. 

We are reviewing the 1100 pages of proposed revisions to the law (see Bill Language) that would support the Governor’s plans and proposals and will discuss the details of the proposals with any clients who may have questions.